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As a parent, you are probably the most important influence on your kids' food and body attitudes. Your children are forming lifelong nutrition and fitness habits by watching and listening to you. Here's how to make sure they're learning the right stuff.
You play the most important role in raising a food-savvy kid. Get the know-how you need to nourish and nurture and to help them develop good eating habits for life.
Even if you're not a routine-oriented person, try to have at least two sit-down meals a day with your kids. Although your children may prefer to graze throughout the day, they will still benefit from practicing mealtime basics. Don't worry if your child doesn't "clean his plate." For the most part, toddlers and young children stop eating when they're full.
Open your fridge and pantry and see what choices you're giving your hungry kids. Be sure to keep nutritious, ready-to-eat foods in the first place they look. Make a habit of stocking sliced fruit and veggies with dip on the bottom shelf of the fridge. Who knows -- your own snack habits might improve, too!
Try to send positive messages about food to your children. Teach them that we eat to live; we don't live to eat. One of the best ways to put this lesson into action is to eat only when you're hungry, not when you're sad or bored. Just as you shouldn't reward yourself with food, don't reward your kids with it!
Never be critical of your own body (or other people's bodies) in front of your children. Be sure to let them know that healthy bodies come in many shapes and sizes, and that what you do with your body is what matters most. Even if you're trying to lose weight to improve your health, don't talk about your dieting around your kids. Research shows that children are more likely to become lifelong dieters when parents place a lot of emphasis on weight.
Child obesity has become a world-wide epidemic, especially in the gulf. Can it be treated? Definitely! It is much easier to treat an obese child than an adult sometimes, because the parents can monitor what children eat at home and a child’s metabolism is much faster than an adult’s. Treatment involves reducing the rate of weight gain to allow the child to grow into a healthier BMI. A child’s body mass index can be calculated the same way as an adult’s. However, healthy BMI numbers are different for adults than they are for kids. Special charts to measure weight status of children are needed.
What happens if this problem isn’t dealt with? Well, obese children are more likely to become obese as adults than are normal weight children. Childhood obesity is a dangerous disease and can lead to life-threatening complications if left untreated. Overweight and obese children have a higher risk for heart disease, stroke, some forms of cancer, diabetes type 2, and joint problems. Additionally, the psychological effects of being an obese child could lower your child’s self-esteem. Treatment of child obesity reduces the risk of developing these health complications. The early stages of heart disease can start as early as in childhood, where obese children may develop high blood pressure, diabetes type 2, and high cholesterol.
If your child is overweight or obese, consult with a licensed dietitian to receive the guidance and support for you and your child’s successful weight management and better health!
Nada Jawahery is the Registered Dietician at Royal Bahrain Hospital and is a member of, and licensed by, the American Dietetics Association. For more information call 17246832 or email: Nada.Jawahery@royalbhrn.com
Did you know how many calories in popular fruit and vegetables? Read the following table, that will help you to count how many calories you are consuming per day!
|Red Kidney Beans In Water, Tesco*||1 Can/420g||391|
|Potatoes, Baked, Flesh & Skin||1 Med/180g||245|
|Banana Fresh, Weighed Without Skin||1 Med/150g||143|
|Sweet Corn, Green Giant*||1 Can/200g||140|
|Apricots, Dried, Sundora*||1 Serving/50g||83|
|Pear, Average, Raw||1 Med/170g||68|
|Garden Peas, Bird's Eye*||1 Serving/85g||53|
|Potatoes, New, Boiled in Salted Water||100g||53|
|Cherries, Black, Raw||100g||51|
|Apples, Eating, Raw||1 Med/112g||53|
|Peach, Raw||1 Med/110g||36|
|Broccoli, Green, Raw||100g||33|
|Peppers, Capsicum, Red Raw||100g||32|
|Carrots, Young, Raw||100g||30|
|Green Beans, French Beans Boiled in Unsalted Water||100g||22|
|Tomato, Raw||1 Med/85g||14|
|Lettuce, Average, Raw||100g||14|
|Mushrooms, Common, Raw||100g||13|
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